Humor

The Funny Thing About Aging

First of all, IS there anything funny about aging?    Probably.   I just can’t think of anything right now.

I can tell you this much—the aches and pains associated with aging are no laugh riot.    The weird smells and certain odd little hairs that start growing in the damnedest places don’t warrant a chuckle.     There are other issues…balance problems, vision and hearing impairments, the napping which you so LOATHED as a child, but crave past age 55 are all interesting phenomenon, but not funny,

I have an arthritic knee that hurts me every second of the day.   I have injuries from  a severe car accident 26 years ago that the passage of time has only made worse.   I have sclerotic lesions in/on my hippocampus within my brain, I tire more easily, I have balance issues, I I can’t tolerate bright lights., loud noises…even music.    I can’t hear as well as I once could,  I can no longer drive at night, I can’t drive without glasses during the day and the thought of driving long trips alone scare me .  In the past right months I’ve mourned the loss of very close friends.    Death knows aging well because from the beginning of time, aging co-opted with death.    They sh their boney  hands It doesn’t own the rights exclusively.    Death takes the young, too.   But those of us at a certain age may not obsess over our mortality, but the changes we feel mentally and physically, make it hard not to realize it’s an ever closer eventuality.

As for me, I can’t remember certain things.   I’d rather be home and watching TV on a Saturday night And I’ve become extremely confrontational.   I’m talking well beyond shouting things like, ,  “And I would have gotten away with it to if it hadn’t been for your meddling kids!!!”.  No, it’s beyond that.     In the past six month, I’ve made three people cry……one was a Marine.

With a few exceptions, I didn’t experience any these things as recently as five years ago.   But here I am.    It’s because I’m older and aging by the second……like you….like that guy oddly griping cucumbers

But as much as life physically hurts every single second of every single day, I wouldn’t go back and I decided  this well before the pains caused from my accident. If I had a Fairy Godmother and in a poof of glittery dust and smoke, appeared before me, magic wand in hand and said she’d  grant me the ability to go back and relive my youth starting at any age,  I’d politely decline.    Now, I wouldn’t heditate to ask if she could completely remove certain people from my past, and even if she could, I still wouldn’t go back.    What the reason, good, bad or infufferent, I am here.

Despite my whining, this piece was initially written for myniece who tuned 35 in June.    Apparently, I celebrated it with her, but I don’t remember it.    So, the rest is for Becky .

She’s a college educated woman,  married to a man not afraid to be a good husband and father to their six and eight year old children.     She says she’s content in life and as far as turning one year older, she says what everyone says about birthdays…..”it’s only a number”.

Well, it is…..and it isn’t.        My heart bursts with joy for the 94-year- old (a number) who can still swim six (a number) Olympic pool size lapse everyday ,    My heart aches for the 71-year-old (a number) to enduring the awful ravages of Alzheimer’s.

When I turned 35, it too was just a number, then fast forward 24 years—it was another number.    And it will be for Becky, too.

Aging is a slow process that acts rapidly.     Personally, I’m not bouncing off the walls with glee about being 58, but the thought of having to repeat everything that got me here,  galls me so that it makes being here worth it.

My life., like my niece’s, has been  graced with a certain flaw that ironically, have proven to be rather beneficial.   Failure wasn’t always an option….at times,  it was a necessity and with each one came new knowledge.      I’m not saying I failed on purpose, most of mine came in the form of bad decisions.    Entering into bad jobs or relationships perhaps subconsciously knowing I was repeating a cycle.    But as I stated, with each failure came new knowledge.    With knowledge comes wisdom and wisdom, serves as a doorman for gratitude.    And with gratitude comes a better life, whether it’s  lived out in a mansion in the Hamptons or in a dilapidated two room hovel in Compton.     It’s all about gratitude concerning who you are and what you have…..but not the stuff you have.   It’s about your contributions, the good you do….the satisfaction you get from doing something worthwhile.   Beyond yourself.

And then you keep quiet about it.    Keep it to yourself.

I’ve learned that the hard way.   Becky and I have talked about this often.    It can be very unfair to proselytize one’s gratitude or happiness, even the ability or willingness to do good.   You keep quiet about how much money you have in the bank, or the  “perfection” of your marriage, your wonderful, superhuman children, your terrific body, your health, that oh so glorious trip to Bali that’ll take you ten years to pay off.    You know, things like that and basically, every other lie on Facebook.

It’s like being in high school…..we’re not all Seniors.     Some still have to go through our Sophomore and  Junior years to reach that level of education.   Everyone has to go through their lives as youngsters and middle agers…..as inevitably, and if we’re lucky to live long enough, as old people.

Becky lost her sister on Vakentine’s Day, 1999.  Holly was 19, a Freshman at Baylor.  She died in a head on car crash that unfortunately, her fault.   The young man she hit, suffer reread severe head trauma and his life will never be the same.  This incident continues to leave to families in a state of grief that even after 18 years, ebbs and flows, but the pain is still there.

One minute, Holly was driving back to college after a weekend visiting her cousin at Texas A&M.     In a heartbeat, Holly missed a turn, overcompensated and the world changed.

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So, I urge you to embrace your present, the right here and now, dear niece,    I urge that of everyone.   I do that because you’ll go to sleep tonight and wake up 30 years from now.  Aging happens that quickly.    See?   A second has already passed since reading that last sentence.    And in this life, there are a very limited number of do-overs, providing you have the awareness to even try to redeem yourself should the situation arise.    Some  can walk blithely through life unaware of the disruption they’ve caused, the pain they’ve inflicted.     But then again, one person’s need for privacy and solo down-time might be deemed as neglect and abandonment by someone else.    And let’s take that further —- desth for some (suicide) is the only solution for what’s thought  to be an extremely desperate situation.    For others,  it’s the scariest finsl act they know.   Man, life isn’t only short, it’s also extraordinarily confusing.

So, for the self- conciliatory belief that birthdays  are only a number well, they are, but it depends entirely on the number.   I would never say “it’s only a number” to someone turning 43 (a number) who has Stage 4 (also a number) liver failure.    Like your Facebook embellishments, please keep that to yourself.

As for anything being funny about aging?     Well, how about this:     Three old guys, all hard of hearing, were playing golf one spring afternoon.   One says to another, “Windy, isn’t it?” “No,” the second man answers, “it’s Thursday.” The third guy, listening in, pipes up, “So am I! Let’s grab a beer.”

 

 

 

 

Teeth

Let’s take a break shall we from my many personal woes, all the geo-political horrifics that keep getting worse, the Never Trumpers and Hillary and other masculine women and focus on a topic much lighter–like teeth.

Great strides have been made in dentistry and orthodontia in recent years,     If you’ve got time, discretionary income and a dentist with a script pas, you too can you have perfect Hollywood teeth like this:

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Was she born with these choppers?      I’m no dental expert, but I’d say no.     I’m thinking veneers.

What about the dental Chiclets on this cat?

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I’d say natural….all his original issue toofies but with some professional dental and orthodontial sculpting.

Teeth are interesting.    If eyes are the windows to the soul, then teeth are the fence that’s keeps stuff in it and stuff from getting out of it.

Teeth and eyes are what I look at first when meeting a potential Mr. Kendrick…at least that was my M.O. years ago when I still on the hunt.       Now, I just peruse  WEb MD looking up symptoms of fatal age-related diseases.

But teeth are vital to our existence.    They’re also indicators of life threatening diseases and are indicators of referred pain.   A toothache can mean indicate a sinus infection or as Niles Crane on Fraiser learned, a heart anomaly.

We must take care of our teeth.  For aesthetics if nothing else.

For example:

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Yum, yum, gimme some.   Nice.

How about a little kiss from this half- man/half-front end loader?

Teeth can be glorious things and some teeth can star in their own horror movie..    There is NOTHING  more gross than gross teeth,     But weird, strange, vile teeth aren’t limited to man and womankind.

Animals of all kinds have some very funked up pearly whites…and  browns, blacks and grays.  Check this out…..’twas pilfered from some Pinterest page.   This lovely array of dental love is from the mouth of something called a Frill Shark,

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The teeth look like tiny antlers.

This next pic is a squid with teeth

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I now feel fried calamari is a justifiable appetizer.

This next set of choppers is brought to you by a Star Nosed Mole.

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This next photo is courtesy of Mother Nature on a day she was feeling bitchy,

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Baboons.   Colorful asses.    Horrendous teeth.

And finally, a sheepshead.   A fish with more perfect human looking teeth than Steve Buscemi.

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In the top photo of the Sheepshead, did you notice that there were teeth all over The upper portion of the fish’s mouth?      Well, that’s because of their diets.    They eat nothing but oysters  and barnacles and once  the front incisors have bitten through oyster or barnacle shells, the fish crushes the rest of the shell with the rows and rows of inner teeth and there you have it….dinner.

This treatise on ugly teeth on humans and beasts, both water and land based, has been posted by me as a public service message.    According to the good folks at Colgate around  nine to 15%  of Americans of have dental phobia, which means they’ll avoid seeing a dentist at all cost.   Why?      Pain.    What is it it an inch or two between a rotten molar and the brain–the real house of  instantly recognizable pain?

And it’s that  damn drill.   It is shrill and horrible sounding and if you’ve ever seen the movie, The Marathon Man, you’ll understand.   The way if feels, the pressure  you feel applied to get to the deeper part of the cavity…..the smell.    I know dentists day drills are much more quiet these days and treatment is less barbaric and blood-letting and leaches are just holdovers for shits and giggles. .

Still for me, it’s the drill.    I don’t mind the numbing shots at all.  Just the damn drill,   Treatment might have changed  butnwhyncsntntheynjudtndop,some specialized liquid into a cavity?   Can’t Colgate-Palmolive get more creative?   The folks at Ultra Brite?        Join forces and think  outside the cavity box?     Remove the fear, anxiety, fear and pain.     Making dental procedures cheaper wouldn’t hurt either.

Plus, dentistry is invasive.    I don’t like having a strangers’  masked faces inches away from mine.    God, I’d make one bad prostitute.

And gen there’s the cost of exams and treatment but and it’s  hard enough finding insurance much less ax decent dental insursnce ptogrsm.

So yeah, I’ll admit I have  dental phobia…….I don’t know why,    I’ve had gynecologists all over my hoo-ha and have had a proctologist partly standing in my rectum excavating it, but a dentist’s gloved hand in my mouth?

Still NOTHING hurts worst than a cavity, or abscesses tooth       Or maybe a kidney stone  or a comminuted fractured bone or about 100 end stage diseases,    This makes me feel like an ass.

Ok, so if you’re like me and dislike dentists depsite their honorable professions and tthe great work they do……on others……. then we need to learn to avoid the dentists by taking better car of our teeth. Brush, avoid sweets, use a nice mouthwash.

And I’ll end this with a vivid reminder:  don’t forget to floss.

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IRA? ISIS? What’s the difference?

I’m watching the horror unfold in the U.K. once  again.    Well, they’re calling it horror….I’ve yet to see any evidence.  But the Bobbies  are in full warfare regalia and ready to take down whatever comes down?     This  time, London is the target once again and while the investigation  is still early and not all that much is known in terms of what’s happening.  I’ve heard unconfirmed reports of a car running over people, the inhabitants getting out and stabbing people and there have been gunshots.

FOX started calling it Islamic terrorism right off the bat.    Everyone else is calling it an “event of some sort”,

Please!    These these aren’t the antics of pissesd off Lutheran Missouri Synod  members.

I watch all these attacks over too many years and I still wonder what makes these dreadful people do what they do,  believe what  they do.    What the hell is it with Religion and terrorism?    London is no stranger to deadly religious zealot.   Remember the IRA?

So, despite obvious  geological, religious and even ethnic differences. what’s the  what’s the difference between the Irish Republican Army and ISIS?

Helluva question.

I remember being in High School (news geek that I was then) and being absolutely horrified by the actions of Irish terrorists carried out in the name of Catholicism, well sort of.  .     I was raised Catholic and I was repulsed.   Other Catholics, family and friends, even our priest condemned the bombings as acts of terror and ‘murder.    Catholicism had  nothing to do with it.     The perpetrators just happened to be mostly Catholics.  That didn’t make their actions any less heinous.

I don’t know which  is older—-The Irish Republican Army had little to do with religion.  In fact,  Unlike ISIS, whose existence is predicated on strict religious tenets, the IRA’s fight was never religious. Ironically, the IRA fought for principles that ISIS finds abominable: human rights and equality.

The IRA never wanted a Catholic state, nor to purge the country of non-Catholics.    It was quite  the opposite, really, with its main objective was to expel a foreign force that had openly engaged in anti-Catholicism: Catholics in Northern Ireland had substandard education, scant employment opportunities and saw many of their rights eliminated.   The IRA’s primary goal was to force the British to negotiate a withdrawal from Northern Ireland, using guerrilla tactics against the British Army with lots  and lots of bombings.   And they bombed and killed a British Royals, too.

As for the terror that been compelling Islamist extremist to “misbehave” these days is probably as old but the how’s and why’s aren’t as clear-cut.  They’ve been killing  different sects within their own religion  for eons,

But let’s be real honest here, no one can or will ever proclaim Islam or Catholicism as pacifist religions.     I can cite a long laundry list of senseless murderous attacks s to prove my point for both religions AND. for both religions, the question then  become under what circumstances is the use of force is moral and justly applicable?

Do they even care?.

Ranking authorities in both faiths have denounced terrorism, whether by the Irish Republican Army and related groups made up of some Catholics..some merely pro-Catholic or by extremist minority Muslims in factions like the ISIS, but then they’ll go  conduct some bullshit  terror attack on a soft target a few days later.   ISIS must mean relentless in some language  somewhere.

Yeah, with both were formed with religious identity has been merged  with power, politics, and ethnic solidarity.

Are there differences?    Aye.   The IRA pretty  much ended their era of death with the  1998  Good Friday Agreement’s power-sharing between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.        ISIS?     Still,    active even as of an hour ago.   Islamic terrorism  and IT IS Islamic terrorism is an ongoing, large, well-organized and seemingly ineradicable movement, especially where democracy is limited.  ISIS also covers more territory :  Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen, Syria, the Philippines, Lebanon, Libya and apparently,  in parts of  London as well.

They do seem to have a jones for the U.K. though.  Three horrific  attacks in  as many weeks!!!     Can we expect another MOAB anytime soon, Donnie?        I’d say ready aim, fire!!!

Getting back to thecrux of the post, unlike  ISIS, whose existence is predicated on strict religious tenets, the IRA’s fight was never really religious. Ironically, the IRA fought for principles that ISIS finds abominable: human rights and equality. ISIS wants a caliphate…an Islamic state.    The IRA never wanted a Catholic state, nor to purge the country of non-Catholics. Quite the opposite, its main objective was to expel a foreign force that had openly engaged in anti-Catholicism: Catholics in Northern Ireland had substandard education, scant employment opportunities and saw many of their rights eliminated.

Other similarities  include their minions.  Supporters  for the IRA and the  Islamic  both represent minorities in divided communities. The IRA’s support base lies in Northern Ireland’s Catholic/Nationalist community, whilst in Iraq the so-called Islamic State draws support from the minority Sunnis.   Speaking of ISIS has succeeded in convincing Sunnis, who are oppressed by the Shiite governments of Iraq and Syria, that they have taken up their cause.   They get willingly brainwashed and believe the warped version of religion shoved down their throats and then that makes them myopic  jihadis zombies, pawns and shills all at once.

But there’s one other very significant difference between the NRA and ISIS.   The NRA we’re no angels by any means, but by and large they didn’t didn’t normally videotape the beheadings of their  victims, throw homosexuals from tall buildings, stone women or place  infidels in a cages with tigers.  And they were civil was war mongers  go.   Like the Israeli army currently does, the IRA , would often issue warnings before a bombing.

But does that offer solace to a mother who lost her son in the process–arranged bombing?    It doesn’t matter.

So, really, if the question asked is there a difference between the IRA and ISIS, then the answer is yes, in that the IRA is no more, but the answer to the question is also no.   If in the end game, elimination of all enemies is the main goal, what’s the difference?

And if I  want a MOAB to blow the hell out of every ISIS mainstay on the planet, then I guess that makes me a one woman terror organization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen Up, Third Wave Feminists

She was obese….I only mention that to set the scene and sadly, it’s a common one….and dressed in a way that only emphasized her size.   She had  short hair and as best as I could tell, simply by observing her behavior,  she was a terribly sad, angry little girl.     She was seventeen, 18…maybe.

She created a huge scene in my local grocery store because she had 26 items in the 20 items or less lane.    And when she was asked to move her cart to a proper check out lane, she went crazy.     She started screaming about injustice, misogyny and   white male entitlement and what was so hilarious here about this was that the poor checker at whom she was screaming, was neither, white, entitled or even male as best as I could tell.    Management came running out of nowhere to calm her down and she kept mentioning the word trigger…as if this  experience triggered something At her age, age what?     What??????  A negative experience while standing  in line at the lunch room?

Now, I’m probably going to take a lot of heat for the post you’re  about to read…if you even read it at all…I know most of you don’t And frankly, I really don’t care.   But, if you do read this post and leave nasty comments, you’ll get them back.     Verbally, I will get all ISIS on your ass because these days I’m mad, mourning the loss of a dear friend, I have a mother who’s ostensibly dying. I’ve got brain lesions which have completely eradicated any filter I ever had, if I ever had  any.      So, you’ve been  warned….you’re  taking your chances if you leave a mean comment.    Logic and , reasoned arguments are welcomed,  but being mean will have you seeking a  proctologist.

Here goes:    to  all you asinine third  wave feminists (I refuse to capitalize your title)  SHUT THE  FUCK UP!!

Wikipedia  defines your movement  as follows:    It encompasses several diverse strains of feminist activity and study. Though exact boundaries are a subject of debate, it is generally marked as beginning in the early 1990s and continuing to the present. It is an “individual movement” in the sense that its purpose includes redefining what it is to be a feminist.    It arose partially  as a response to the perceived  failures of second-wave feminism ( Second Wave Feminism??? ?     Where were those feminists when a young, but obviously ambitious  Monica Lewinsky was getting regularly Cohiba’d by President Clinton???)  )  It attempts to expand feminism to include women with a diverse set of identities that women are of “many colors, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, cultural backgrounds and lotsa, lotsa angry Lesbians”

Nothing against my Sapphic sisters, but I have to be honest here.

Despite who or what you  are,  I find your whiney ass nature so embarrassing.  I know you’re young, you think you know everything, and you think that the entire world gives you credence.   Well, sweetie, no they don’t.   They either feel sorry for you or are so annoyed by you to the point they look away, more than likely embarrassed  for you   So really, you’re defeating your purpose.

I spent an afternoon recently reading your third wave dribble and reading  your measages and watching videos of the message you’re trying to convey (and by the way, you are SO going  to be humiliated by those videos in a few years).  Frankly, I don’t get it.     What is/are your problems?

Now, by large, I’ve deduced by what I’ve  watched and read is that the bulk of you are obsese, short -haired, age 18- to 20 something girls with no boyfriends but you probably have broken -hearted desires to have one,     Unless you’re a Lesbian and  third wavers include  many.   You have sublimation down to a science,  you  eat and eat and to fill the void where love dares not enter….and love dare not enter because you’re also mean, angry, caustic bitches.    Men, you claim, are creeps and horrid creatures  because of a million reasons when the  only the real reason is that they want nothing to do with you.   Well, look  in the mirror , but more importantly, look in the mirror that reflects what’s within.

I know you’re not all of you are adipose bipeds.  Many of you are attractive  women, feminine too, but you’re  bat shit crazy andYOU’RE man repellent.  What’s happened in your life to make you hate men so much  to blame them for every wrong in the world?

Look, I understand the nature of all the forms of abuse,   Pedolphilic Daddies who shoould be shot, the same with lunatic brothers, cousins, uncles,….devious boyfriends.     Narcissistic mothers.   A toxic friend.     I know much more about these things  than you can imagine.  If that’s the cause of your anti- man anger, my heart goes out to you, but I don’t have a helluva lot of sympathy.   MY question to you is, if it’s so bad as to cause a scene in a crowded grocery store for the silliest reason, why didn’t you seek help?

And if you did receive therapy, why didn’t you adhere to or apply what you learned?     Hate your male abusers,  but not all males.    But that’s different for you, right?  Because your from a different world where reasoning only applies if you Maggie with it,   If yiunoffocse it, its wrong, stupid, insane and will kills us all.   For you,  it’s  wrong for Kate Steinle’s family to disregard all illegal aliens, especially the one who shot and killed their sister, daughter, Brice, best friend for no apparent reason…the illegal alien murederer,  by the way, one who was deported  countless times.  Lock him up…he’ll castrate him…but those politics don’t jive with yours, so her case doesn’t matter that much, right?    Identity politic are such bullshit.     I can tell and will never tolerate  this bullshit notion.

And as for portly 3rd femme waver with the bad haircut and thighnkles,….(thigh, knee and  ankless all linked together by fat)  at the grocery store, I know you better than you think.   I’ve struggled to get into your exhausted, over-worked elastic  waistband jeggings,.  I’ve stepped on your scale.     I too have dated  a cupcake and  bags of donuts.  I’ve driven through fast food counters pretending to order for three people when I fully intended on eating the whole damn thing all by myself,.    Like you, I could barely scratch the depths of a deep itch in a sweaty stomach wrinkle.  I get it completely.   Your miserable and  too damn  unenlightened  or self-aware to deal with it  than any other way than a tantrum.

But I also got help.    And  if you would have gotten help, you would have learned  that you can’t blame all men because you’re  lonely and hell-bent on blaming your pain on anyone else but yourself.  And using “man splaining” and  male entitlement of all colors, of all cultures is so silly.      Yes, it’s a patriarchal world …always has been,  but there are ways for us to co exist with just as much leverage,  if we approach it wisely.   I also know women  play vital roles in life….we incubate life and more often than not, we nurture it, from  it and hopefully produce productive teens and responsible adults.   Women who like men and respect  themselves.  Dignity accomplishes so much more.

You third wavers, you’re too young to even be flirting with feminism,     Put down the plate of carbs and approach your real problems.  Argue what you want, but I’ll argue right back,     YOU have no experience with classic misogyny.   This isn’t 1964, where rude and crude remarks were made in the work force.    And what recourse did these woman  have?   Go to Management?   In girdles no less???    .  That office was filled with men and if you complained , you were often told one of three things: consider it a compliment OR……consider it part of the job and get over it….orb leave.   It was a horrendous   A true Occupational hazard back then.    These woman were pinched, patted, grabbed, forced in closets and groped.  If not worse.

And then, some gutsy tough, old broads got tired of hearing these stories.   Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug, Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Steinam and brave women from centuries earlier, such as Mary Wollstonecraft decided to do something about it.    And it was risky, but she wasn’t sitting there crying after  triggered by a Hershey bar.

Inlike th vulgarity mewningnless march after tarynpmwaa inaugurated, back in the  60’s, three were real movement.. These women organized marches, met head to head with male executives for better pay.     They used their strength in numbers and cooler heads to get the birth control pill into the medicine cabinets of any American women who wanted them.   Abortions, too,     They established winen stufurs ans proved the feminine mystique  was real, as were our smarts,.    They burned their bras as a symbolic means of liberation.

They worked.    Hard.     They were smart,   They didn’t shout down men and women who didn’t share their ridiculous identity politics. then run to safe spaces filled with coloring books.   They weren’t triggered by things though God   knows they should have been .   Did you know that during then the civil rights era, the legendary Rosa Parks who refused  give up her seat to a white man, also felt it wrong to have to give up her seat to any man, regardless of color or culture.

And I haven’t even talked about our other true heroines, in other countries.   Women  who have been killed fighting for real..REAL equal,rights.  Such as in the Congo,  where female genital mutilation is an every day occurrence.   In other  lands, women  risk jail time and hard labor just  to own land, to own their own businesses.    They fight the legality of child marriages and laws that say it’s perfectly fine to rape nine-year old girls sans any  retribution for the rapist or rapists.

I’ll never deny women have had it harder.  We still have it harder.     I had it harder.   We aren’t paid as much.  But we have options.    We can get what we want without being contentious.  By being the smart, women we are.   There are women who  relentlessly fought for equal pay and got it.      Persistence and effort pay off.  They knew how to fight with men.     And it ain’t what you little idiots are trying to pull off.    Your melt downs over getting  less whipped cream on your milk shake than the huh in standing in front  of you, are making enemies for life.   Enemies of both genders.  And giving women a bad name.   Do you realize  that?   You’re  setting us back a century .      Setting us back for all the work so many woman before us fought tooth and  nail for.  Please stop embarrassing the martyrs  who fought before for you well before you were even you.   They fought to allow you act like assholes today.  So, show them  little gratitude.    And if any of this ridiculous mindset comes from your mom raised on PC cartoons,…..who were punished with time outs as opposed to real censuring, the real kind you learn  from,  then she’s wrong too and I assure you she hasn’t lived long enough either to have ever had it bad enough to raise you so pathetically….with so much misguidance.

So, all you fat, skinny, pretty, homely, lonely straight,lesbian feminist wanna be’s, do something constructive other than cry and whine and scream nonsense.  Make a difference, change your narrative without forgetting your cause.    Quit acting like immature shit biscuits, alter your paradigm and make every effort to be damn sure your worthy of  the many sacrifices you will have to make in order to make vital changes, of which your obviously still not aware.   You’ve so much to learn.

It’s either that, or grow a pair of balls.

 

 

 

 

 

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Downward Dog

 

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It’s a popular yoga position and a new TV show.

The latest episode aired  tonight.      And yes, it moved me as it always does.

Downward Dog  is about a dog named Martin and his relationship with his adoptive mom, Nan.    The premise is from mostly Martin’s perspective as a dog, as a non- human, it’s about his love of Nan, his unflinching loyalty to her,   but mostly, the complexity of his relationship with everything.    From his loneliness when Nan goes to work to his confusion over her frustrations with her to her,job, to her very conflicted on again/off again relationship with this man he doesn’t like or trust.  Martin knows. Nan’s heart.   He feels her tears at night when she thinks he’s asleep.

The show wreaks of the special love between (wo)man and beast.    Martin’s sad eyes are also his co-stars.    Nan does a good job of showing enough  love to her canine bestie and enough vulnerability to her human one.  It’s truly an angst salad.

But this isn’t a comedy.    One doesn’t walk away from viewing Downward Dog recalling it as a laugh fest, by any means, but there’s something odd and very real about the credibility factor.    Of course dogs don’t talk or think in  complex existential ways.  But what Martin says makes you think!

One of the show’s producers or writers voices Martin with slightly animated lip movement,     Martin’s  soliloquies of reasoning can be poignant, but he uses the word “like”  as often a Kardashian, which irritates me to no end, but there’s a sweetness to what he feels and all he admittedly doesn’t understand about the human animal.    But make no mistake, animals know love, .

And they definitively know cruelty.

I worked at a animal shelter briefly in between Broadcasting gigs years ago.  It was the worse experience ever,    Members of management  were more racketeers than animal lovers,.    Yesh, they’d become jaded considering what they had to do.  .bodies were burned byb7:00 each Wednesday,   The smell was horrible and were times when a light dust covered your winsshiells.  I  decided it had to be much like working for the Nazis at Treblinka.

Everyday there  was a nightmare.    I remember tripping  over a garment filled with dead and dying  puppies placed by the facility’s front door.   Just left there.     I saw a cat that had been so abused his eyeball was hanging out.    His severe burns almost seemed irrelevant.  I watched the soulless staff  hide piles of corpses of dead animals, they’d yet to incncerate when a TV crew came out to cover  a burglary .   They used to try  to hide the stench with this, sickingly sweet  air freshener,  that fooled  no one.   I once  witnessed a wretched woman relinquish the cutist  little  dog because it no longer fit her lifestyle.

While there, I befriended a homely little mut.  I had no idea what his background was, but  you could tell it had been traumatic,     Not all wounds are visible.   He sat in the corner of his cage  shaking.   He never interacted with other dogs.   I could only imagine what life’s hasnto be like,from inside that cage.     Strange faces would appear in front of his cage everyday and look him over or over look him,  then move along.   I remember a day earlier his cage mate was adopted and a few days later,  a yappy terriers mix two cages down,  went home with a young family.    Imalwayscfeltnhevwascawsrebofbthisvabdbitnonlynmadevhim mevfeel more unwanted.    This sad little puppy has no idea he was loveable and adoptable.    He just sat there  with his head down  mostly.  I would imagine in his attempts at survival out in the wild, , eye contact often ended in pain of  some sort.  I can imagine he was kicked, yelled at, had things thrown at him, maybe someone even shot at him.   It was obvious by his frail frame, food and water were  hard to come by.     Worse, still,  it might even have been easier for him to find food than to feel safe.

I left that insiduious gig (no kill shelter, my ass!!!)  a few days later, but went  by his cage before I left.    He wasn’t there,    I prayed someone came by and saw beyond the fear, the trauma and pain and offered him a loving home,

FIve years ago,  I adopted Bixby, the true love of my life,, just as Nan adopted Martin on the show.     As for the other homeless dogs and cats in the real world?    I pray they all find homes and loving families in good, loving homes. .  But that’s impossible.   I’ve always felt they were somehow very aware of their situations.    Maybe even their sad fates.

But, as  for Downward Dog,  I like this show and after only two episodes, I always come away with a better understanding  of how relationships,work, orvdhoukdveork neteer.    And not necessarily that between men  and women, a woman and her dog, a woman and her job……or humans and the world around us, just  relationships in general,

I wish this show success, but I don’t see it staying on the ABC Tuesday night’is lineup very long.    It has too much heart and average American TV viewers doesn’t  have enough of its to appreciate the nuances of its brilliance…of its  humanity.   They’d   rather watch D-List actors dance, or cupcake cook offs or how truckers tackle snowy highways in the outback.

In yoga the pose,  the Downward Dog energizes and rejuvenates the entire body.   I don’t know if a  show of the same name can have that affect, but it’s a sweet 22-minute (minus commercial  time)  look at the complex life of a philosophical,, but morose dog named Martin, who loves unconditionally, as much as a TV canine character can,  for reasons he can’t even begin to understand.

It’s so complex, I don’t think Martin’s human writers completely get it, either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anne Frank and My Life

My mother had a recent neurological event….not a stroke, but something happened.    She spent time in a hospital. and then was moved into a rehab facility on the campus of her near of semi independent town home.

When she was there, I’d visit her  every other day in the memory facility and our visits are  usually business related (signatures, are needed, bills must be paid….supplemental medical care  forms need to be filled out)  and despite the parts that are read and reread until  she understands,  our visits are relatively short.     But this is a mutual decision.   As daughter and mother, we know our emotional limitations, even with her ever increasing dementia.   She doesn’t particularly care to spend much time with me and my desire to cut visits short is probably good old Catholic guilt.   She’s in a place she doesn’t want to be and feels certain it was my decision to place here there.     If that’s not enough pain from a daughter’s  persoective, she keeps insisting she’s going home tomorrow , then then next day comes, and she’s going home the next day and the next day.    She’s not ready to go home and might not me.     Time will tell.

For some reasons, I feel like it’s my fault she’s there.    It’s absurd, I know.     Yet…..

I have a lot of down time in between visits.     I moving to a new home in July, but even that’s lost some of its luster, so I watch TV, read and drink a lot Ginger Ale (Seagrams has by far the best taste). While waiting in line at the grocery store, I saw  a Life magazine special edition on Anne Frank.    I’ve only read her diary in bits and pieces, but, some how I know her entire story.

As best I can tell, she was an quite ordinary as brilliant young girls go.  She was precocious, she felt things, saw things differently, she was aware  of things and no doubt had she lived, she would have been a world renown writer well beyond what the publication of her diary allowed her to be.

And I think she and I could have been friends.   Sure, she was Jewish and I’m Catholic, but that wouldn’t have mattered.     Jewish people fascinate me.   They have a duty and devotion I could never possess, plus their faith is so strong,  as is their entire cultural belief system.   Hell, I haven’t believed in anything with that much passion since waiting for Santa Claus a week away from Christmas.

And that was 51 years ago.

I mean, read this excerpt  from her diary, written at just 13 or 14 years old…

““Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

When I was her age I was writing  “L + M 4-ever” on my 7th grade school book cover.

Then again, maybe  we wouldn’t have been friends.   Had Hitler never existed, maybe I would have bored her to me end  getting her to speak her brilliance and logic as opposed to wiring it all down.  Nah, we wouldn’t have been friends.   I couldn’t see beauty in a nail in a piece of mail.    I am…..I would have been beneath her intellectual station.

But Hitler did exist and  his “final solution” included Anne Frank.   He didn’t know her.    He’d never heard of her, but he feared her.   He feared her people, because  they possessed what he never did.  I’m truly convinced God made a covenant with the Jews.  He told then they’d endure hell on Earth, but their reward would be they’d be smarter, more creative and more talented a result.    They’d be consummate survivors.     Why all the hell on Earth?   I don’t know,  but the Jews  have always had it tough, yet they always rose up only to achieve and succeed again,   And afterwards they required no hand outs, demanded no equity, no dependence on anyone but themselves, no sense of entitlement.    No protests, marches on Washington…. They are  just like the mighty Phoenix….literarily.

The Frank family was well to do, but and if you had money and believed that as Jews, your lives werent a in danger and many didn’t.    Many Jews actually thought the Reich’s Juden  problem was fakakfa, but those who felt sure danger was impending, got out early, but it wasn’t cheap.   It’s was expensive, and  you could be tied up with bureaucratic paperwork for months.    And then by the time the SS started  rounding  up Jews, it was next to impossible to escape.   So, they’re only choice was to hide.

The Franks,  with the help of Gentile  friends, moved into the attic (or the upper annex) of a  business in Amsterdam where her father worked.   This was May 1940.  She and her family and several other  people lived in concealed rooms, hidden behind a bookcase.

They couldn’t move during business hours and could only talk minimally and use limited light at night.   It’s was an impossible life, but one  they lived until they were arrested by the Gestapo in August 1944.    They spent four abysmal  years in tiny rooms inmprisoned simply for being born Jewish.

Anne kept a diary she had received as a birthday present, and wrote in it regularly. Following their arrest, the Franks were transported to concentration camps. In the fall of  1944, Anne and her sister, Margot, were transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp from Auschwitz, where they both mercifully died of typhus a few months later.  I use mercifully intentionally.   Death for Holocost victims came in three ways:   You were  worked to reset, gassedor shot, or  got sick and died.

Frank’s father, Otto, the only survivor of the family, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that Anne’s diary had been saved by one of his Goyim co-workers.   It was first published in 1947 and  translated from its original Dutch version and first published in English in 1952.    Anne’s diary and has since been translated into over 60 languages, several movies and plays.

Anne Frank was remarkable.     Mainly, in that she didn’t go completely insane hiding as long as she did.     Maybe her brilliance kept her as sane as it helped keep her alive.

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More of her quotes:

“Women should be respected as well! Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts of the world, so why shouldn’t women have their share? Soldiers and war heroes are honored and commemorated, explorers are granted immortal fame, martyrs are revered, but how many people look upon women too as soldiers?”

“It’s  difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

“I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains,”

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Perhaps this quote came from her one connection to the outside world     From her only window,  Anne could see the sky, birds and a majestic chestnut tree.  The photo above was her view of the tree.

As long as this exists”, Anne wrote in her diary, “how can I be sad?” During the two years she spent in the Secret Annex, the solace Anne found in her chestnut tree provided a powerful contrast to the death and cruelty unfolding all around her secret hiding place.   Her view of the tree became her strength.   Her goal—-to eventually go outside without fear and feel it, see it in its  full glory kept her going.  A tree….a mere chestnut tree became a heroine’s hero.    Despite all the death that surrounded  them, they were both alive.

Sadly, the  chestnut got sick and collapsed from disease in 2010. However, in the years before the tree’s demise, the stewards at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam wisely created saplings that have since been distributed to numerous locations around the world.   So, in some ways, the tree that helped Anne maintain hope in an absolutely hopeless situation, still lives and does so all over the world.

Theese saplings,  young trees now, represent hope and life and despite the pains and loss, they represent the future, free of the heartache….at least most of it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go now.   I’m going to get dressed and go to a nursing home to visit my own aging chestnut tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inside Her Confusion

I had a few minutes alone with my mother at her rehab  facility.    It’s a nursing home, really…but ardly the sad, urine stenched homes for the elderly they used to be.  While it still doesn’t scream hope, it doesn’t scream hopelessness either.

But the reality is, my mother is  87 which means everything else about her is 87.     Muscles, eyes, lungs, toenails….everything.   I used to be bothered when she’d complain of being tired for what seemed like no apparent reason.     But that was just her age and my denial.

She’s not sure why she’s at this place.  She had a fall but has tried to explain eight different times with eight different explanations how she landed on the floor, but it wasn’t a fall, she insists.     It was, says every test and professional who has evaluated her.

We showered her with flowers,  cards and balloons on Mother’sDay.   Half of her grandchildren were there; that delighted her.    The rest  who live farther away will come later.

As her family,  we did as we were told–we bought familiar things from her home, which only confusesd her more.    Photos, her favorite pillows, her books.    She has scoffed  at this, telling us we’re wasting our time since she’s moving back home “tomorrow”.   Everyday, she plans to leave “tomorrow”.”.   She claims for the past serveral days, someone in scrubs or a white coat has told her she’s going home “tomorrow”.     So, everything we bring, she immediately  packs in preparation for going home tomorrow, a day that will most likely never come.

I watched her today and, listened to her speak and could barely control the rage and anger I felt at dementia.     It is like ALS in its insidiousness.   My mother is trapped in a body that moves, controlled by a mind that is fragmented.    Her brain has shrunk, as have the cranial veins that controls blood flow.    The myelin which encases the brain is thinning.    Her tests all prove what her confusion suggests.

She has moments, sometimes hours of keen memory that can go  back decades.  She can be remarkably precise.    Then in a flash, she has no idea who she’s talking to, or where she is.    Her mood is stable one minute, depressed and angry the next.

I’ve had a contentious relationship with my mother all my life.   The stork, we agreed had the wrong address with me, baby number three.   I’m the youngest  of three daughters.    I moved to this burgeoning Texas Hill Country city five years ago when my middle sister  who was here,  moved  to South Texas to start a new life..    I came here to seek redemption with my mother before one of us died,     In some ways, we came close to achieving it, in other ways, we came nowhere near it   But we managed to maintain a relationship that worked in its own unique, if not conflicted way.

We’ve had  massive fights ending in being incommunicado for years.     Prior to her recent fall and this oddly seemingly overnight increase in dementia.  I’ve had little patience with her and when she acted like a child, I treated her like a child,   When she yelled at me, I yelled  back.   I’d try to help her in and out of cars only to get screamed at, hands slapped, the whole  nine yards, but if I didn’t offer help, I was accused of agism.   There was no winning.  There was never any winning.

My Mother  can still be be vicious and cruel.   Her friends and associates, many cousins and our contemporaries  don’t believe me or my sisters when we’ve said she could be be mean; they say she’s the sweetest thing and such a little doll.     Well, as it happens she can be a very cruel,little doll at 87…..just as as she was at 79…60…50 and earlier.    She has her psychological and emotional demons that she both fought and invited in.

But in the grand scheme of things, none of that matters.   It takes everything you possess not to allow  a sad, tragic past dictate  an old, feeble woman’s present.   I can’t speak for my sisters.; they both have their own stories, but while I have a hundred reasons to do as so many adult children have……dump their parents at these facilities and never see them again.   They write a check each month, just enough to keep them fed and clothed and medicated and that’s the extent of their  relationship.

I used to think the people  who did this were such selfish, uncaring assholes.     I’ve since learned that very often neglectful  younger parents end up as neglected senior citizens.   After their horrible childhoods, writing a check is the most affection their children can muster, but   I….we….can’t do that to our mother.   The words, “I love you” don’t come easy  for any of us, but we honor her by making her comfortable and try to allay her fears and confusion.   That’s all our weaponry since “I love you” is hard to say,  it was never said growing up.      But she’ll get angry at us as she realizes her new normal is as abnormal as hell.    All we can do out best as a family is to try our best to make her last years  on this earth seem  reasonable to a woman who loses logic daily.

In addition to dementia, she has advanced kidney disease.     Other organs will soon follow them down the failure trail.   I know my days with her are numbered and my days of having coherent conversations will end even sooner.    So, I say all I can….all I’m capable off.    I’ll try to say more in the time I’ve got left.     Regrets after death can bea killer.

I feel extraordinary guilt for losing my patience with her. Time after time….for the fights, for not properly deflecting the animus flung my way that often comes with her bags, disposition and disease.   I feel bad for constantly rolling my eyes  and all the sighs I exhale due to her slowness, I’m sorry for feeling so angry at her refusal for whatever reason she chooses note to wear the hearing aid she so desperstely  needs.  I get angry at her obstansance;  at our parent/child role reversal.   I Remember getting angry at what were lies ten years ago and even angrier that they’re now delusions.

And then Imget angry at myself for being the single most heartless bitch for feeling this way.     But in some ways I must ask, did she give me an emotional option?

I need to fix things….like a hole in the roof before it rains.

I have several things  to say to  my mother in the next few days…important things that she’ll either understand or not, but these are things important for me to say out loud.   Things  I need to say and hear myself saying them more than she needs to hear them….at this stage anyway.

I  must apologize to her and forgive myself.

 

 

 

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